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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 27, 2014
Any time I have to use a sweet pepper in a recipe, I am always re-
minded of my days in cookery class in secondary school. They seemed
to be in everything we had to prepare, from salads to soups. But then
again, we used a variety of cooking texts from both England and the
Caribbean, so it stands to reason that we also refer to this lovely veg-
etable as a bell pepper (which is its proper name) or even a capsicum
(that's the Australian way of saying it, if you didn't know).
Whatever we choose to call it, the bell pepper is a sweet, crunchy veg-
etable that registers at a complete zero on the Scoville scale (it's used
to measure the heat of various types of peppers). Bell peppers are
botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to
be vegetables. Here at home we are accustomed to seeing sweet pep-
pers in different colours, including red, yellow, orange and green.
According to Wikipedia, beside the colours mentioned above, there are
also rare white, rainbow (between stages of ripening) and purple bell
peppers, depending on the variety. Red, yellow, and orange peppers all
come from different seeds and are different cultivars of pepper. Red
peppers are simply ripened green peppers. Green peppers are less
sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red
bell peppers being the sweetest. The taste of ripe peppers can also
vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the
sweetest are fruit allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine,
while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage are less sweet.
Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nu-
trients. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green pep-
pers. Also, one large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C,
which is three times the 70 mg of an average orange.
All in all, Trinbagonians love them in many dishes, and they are very
easy to prepare. Raw or cooked, they add a certain sweet crunch to
salads and in are excellent in vegetable stir fry dishes. This week,
though, I'm revisiting that school kitchen classic in my selections this
week, and it's none other than the Stuffed Sweet Pepper. Also, you can
check out how to make a lovely version of a Greek Salad, and this one
uses both the red and the green in its preparation, as well as a quick
rainbow salad for the health conscious among us.
(Yield: 4 ser ings)
3/4 cup red bell pepper,
3/4 cup chopped green bell
1 cup cucumber peeled,
seeded and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 large black oli es, quartered
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup egetable oil
2 teaspoons hite ine ine-
Salt to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine the red
bell pepper, green bell pepper,
cucumber, tomato, red onion,
2. Whisk together the oil and vine-
gar. Before serving add the oil
and vinegar, feta cheese and
salt. Toss together and serve.
Yield: 4 ser ings
4 medium-si e s eet bell pep-
pers ( ello , orange, green, or
1 pound e tra-lean ground beef
2 tablespoons egetable oil
1 clo e garlic, minced
2 stalks chi e, chopped
1 pimento pepper, minced finel
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 cup minced onion
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup cooked bro n rice
1/4 teaspoon dried seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To prepare the peppers, cut
the tops off each one and pull
out the centre ribs and seeds
to make room for the stuffing.
Chop up enough of the tops
(minus the stems) to make 1/3
cup. If the pepper does not
stand up straight, slice a little
off the bottom of the pepper
to level it out.
Place the peppers in a dish
that's been lightly sprayed with
cooking spray; set aside to pre-
pare the stuffing.
In a large frying pan over
medium heat, brown ground
beef in one of the two table-
spoons of vegetable oil. Cook
until all liquid has evaporated
and the meat has changed
In another pan, sauté the gar-
lic, chives, chopped sweet pep-
per, ginger, onion and carrot;
cook for another 2 to 3 min-
utes or until the vegetables are
Add these to the cooked beef,
along with the cup of
Season with salt and pepper
Stuff hot meat mixture into
peppers. Drizzle tops with
ketchup or shredded cheese.
Bake approximately 20 to 30
minutes. Remove from oven
and serve immediately.
1 cups s eet peppers,
cup broccoli florets,
1 cup shredded carrots
cup radishes, diced
cup cream ranch dressing
1 tablespoon red onion,
1. Simply place bell peppers, broc-
coli, carrots, radishes, dressing
and onion in a medium bowl.
Toss to coat.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
By Halcian Pierre
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